Dear Tom,

You’ve lost me.

In September, I had decided to vote for you. I attended an event at the college where I work, at which you were interviewed by two members of our faculty. You spoke about your ideas for reforming House procedures to encourage more bipartisan action. You were reasonable, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. You presented yourself as an experienced member of Congress who wants to work with Democrats on legislation that benefits the country.

I was impressed by you that day. And I was proud to say, “That’s my congressional representative. He’s a real moderate. He’s one of the good guys in Congress that’s standing above the terrible partisan rhetoric. He doesn’t attack people in the other party. He works with them.”

Throughout most of October I was still planning to vote for you. And then your campaign literature started arriving in my mailbox. And my phone started to ring in the evenings with people calling from your campaign.

My moderate, “problem-solving” congressional representative turned into a hateful politician, distributing unflattering images of his opponent and taking one minor position that she has held and using it to incite irrational fears in the members of his district.

You know what I’m talking about.

I don’t know who the real Tom Reed is. I don’t know if you are really the guy who impressed me in September or the guy who lets his political party and his campaign staff talk him into running the worst kind of negative campaign. Or if you’re even the guy who actually believes those things you put in your advertisements.

I don’t believe them. And I don’t believe in you anymore.

I’m sorry, Tom. You don’t have my vote on Tuesday.

I continue to hope that the Tom that I saw in September is the real Tom. But if he is, then he needs to start acting like that consistently, not just when he’s speaking at a college forum, but also when he’s on the campaign trail.

Your faithful constituent,



2 thoughts on “You’ve lost me

  1. I enjoyed these articles and would like to know how your views have evolved. Having lost faith in Tom Reed, who or what have you pinned your hopes on now?


  2. I wouldn’t say that I ever had a lot of faith in Tom Reed. But I had some hope for him as a reliably moderate Republican. What I’ve observed about Reed over the past year is that he is caught in a PR trap. He can’t question his party, and especially its allegiance to President Trump, so his public messaging (especially on social media) always aligns very firmly with the standard Republican (and Fox News) talking points. I question, however, whether he would take such a strong line if he had more freedom. When I’ve seen him interact with people at Town Forums, he’s been gracious, moderate, and quite wonky. I wish this side of him could come out in his social media feed. If his party loses the presidency next year and shifts toward the center, I think Reed will be more comfortable. But maybe that is wishful thinking. He remains strategically important to some crucial climate change legislation that I’m interested in (the Carbon Fee and Dividend idea) since he’s one of a small number Republicans who has been willing to listen and talk about climate change.


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